Accidents caused by animals, often found straying on roads, are common in many parts of city

In many parts of the city, motorists are in constant dread of accidents involving or caused by animals running across the carriageway.

“The animal may dart across the road at any point of time and when it does, controlling the vehicle becomes very difficult. We have no option but to apply the brakes suddenly or veer to the side which puts other motorists at risk,” said S. Kumar, a resident of Koyambedu where herds of buffaloes tend to amble across the roads.

In the city, cattle are a traffic hazard in areas such as Anna Nagar, Triplicane and Rajiv Gandhi Salai. In many of these areas, cattle lie down on the roads in the evenings, chewing cud. Dogs and goats also behave unpredictably, sometimes turning back suddenly while crossing the road. There are several points on OMR including Mettukuppam, Sholinganallur, Navalur, Padur and Thaiyur where cattle sleep in the middle of the road.

“Most accidents happen at night when visibility is poor. Cattle owners don’t bother about the animals except when accidents happen. The situation is worsened by the fact that the speed limit of 40 kmph is rarely followed by anyone,” said G. Sathish, a resident of Semmancheri.

K. Sivaraman of Thiruporur said that some kind of barricading would help. “If the government can construct ducts for cables, it can also construct barricades. The government can also consider reviving the animal pounds and imposing small fines. This would act as a deterrent for cattle owners. They will not let them out to graze,” he said.

On Rajiv Gandhi Salai, at least one accident occurs a month due to cattle menace. The urban stretch of the Chennai-Tada Road faces this problem. A row of wedding halls in the stretch have planted plantain trees on the median and the cows come to eat the leaves. “This is a busy road and when cattle run across, it is a problem,” said a source in L&T, which manages the road.

In December alone, a total of 81 animal deaths occurred on the national highways in the State. This number includes eight animals on Chennai Bypass. 29 animals were killed on NH 45, and 41 on NH 45.

During the same interval, there were 20 fatal accidents on NH 45, 27 grievous accidents and six minor accidents. On NH 45B, there were 10 fatal accidents, 15 incidents where the persons involved were grievously injured and about 50 minor accidents.

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